The Best Antivirus for Chromebook in 2022

Chromebook on a table with a trophy containing Antivirus shield icon
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Quick Guide: The Best Antivirus for Chromebook

Does your Chromebook need an antivirus? Many people online say you don’t. But while it’s true that Chromebooks can’t get many of the same viruses as Windows computers do, your Chromebook can still be infected with malware.

Here’s our pick of the best 5 antivirus programs for Chromebook:

  1. AVG Antivirus: The best all-round antivirus for Chromebook
  2. Avast Antivirus: The best antivirus for Chromebook with ransomware protection
  3. Avira Antivirus: The most affordable antivirus for Chromebook
  4. Kaspersky Anti-Virus: The best in speed and performance for Chromebook
  5. Bitdefender Mobile Security: The best antivirus for Chromebook, with a built-in VPN

Check out the full article below for more information on antivirus for Chromebook and the best antivirus for Chromebook.

Most viruses come with an executable file type (.exe). And since Chromebooks can’t open .exe files, many people assume that their devices are immune to getting infected. Unfortunately, your Chromebook can still get malware, particularly from third-party browser extensions or Android apps.

Below, we’ve rounded up and reviewed the best antivirus software that works on Chromebooks. (Some popular antivirus software only works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.) You can also check out our list of the overall best antivirus software of 2022 for all devices.

The Best Antivirus for Chromebook in 2022

Every antivirus software below comes with our stamp of approval. However, to make your decision a little easier, we’ve broken our top antivirus programs into different categories depending on their strengths. Whether you’re looking for a cheap price tag, support for multiple devices, or protection against ransomware, we’ve got you covered.


1. AVG Antivirus: The best all-round antivirus for Chromebook

Screenshot of AVG Antivirus website homepage with logo

PROSCONS
Supports desktop and mobile devicesFree version only supports one device
Set a PIN code for each appFree version doesn’t offer any unique features
Track stolen devices with AVG installed

If all-around security is your priority, then AVG Antivirus is your best bet. Not only is it one of the best antivirus software for Chromebook, but you can also install the desktop client on Windows and Mac devices. You also get an Android mobile app and an iOS application for iPhones and iPads.

Features

AVG Antivirus has a free version, though you can only use this on a single device (and the free account does little more than protect against and scan for malware). The paid options are where AVG shines.

Paid functionality includes an advanced firewall, webcam protection, spam and phishing filters, and enhanced malware protection (compared to what you get with the free version). With the highest-tier subscription, you can even access AVG’s built-in VPN.

The features don’t stop there, either. You can choose to set your own PIN code to unlock private apps. Also, should your device ever be stolen, you can track its location on Google Maps. AVG offers additional features for folks on the move, such as automatic scanning of Wi-Fi networks. Armed with AVG and a VPN subscription, connecting to public Wi-Fi should be no more dangerous than surfing the net at home. Finally, AVG will also scan websites that you visit in real-time, protecting your Chromebook against dodgy webpages.

Unfortunately, AVG doesn’t allow you to schedule virus scans; you’ll have to do it yourself. There’s also the matter of data privacy: AVG has previously been called out for reselling user data. However, it has since updated its policies to offer a clear opt-out option for users.

Pricing

AVG Antivirus Free won’t cost you a thing, but you don’t get much beyond basic malware protection. For features like a password manager, enhanced firewall, and protection against dodgy websites, you’ll have to consider the paid version:

ProductAVG Antivirus FreeAVG Full Internet Security
Antivirus
Anti-malware
Anti-phishing
Anti-ransomware
Enhanced firewall
Fake website protection
Webcam protection
PricingFree$69.99

*Prices for the first year only. Subscription prices tend to rise after the first year.

Try AVG Antivirus for free by visiting the link below, or read our full review for more information.

Try AVG Antivirus for Free

2. Avast Antivirus: The best antivirus for Chromebook with ransomware protection

Screenshot of Avast Antivirus website homepage with logo

PROSCONS
Free version offers an advanced firewallScans can slow your system down
Built-in VPN with 55 locations
Checks for out-of-date software and weak passwords

Avast is one of the biggest cybersecurity companies in the world and has been operating for decades. In fact, Avast owns one of the other antivirus programs recommended above — AVG. Avast offers not only paid antivirus solutions but also a free antivirus program. Even if you opt for the paid version, you can try it out for 30 days for free.

Features

Avast’s paid solution earns it a place on this list, with the title of best antivirus for Chromebook with ransomware protection. Features include an advanced firewall, password protection, regular security updates, and protection against both phishing and ransomware.

With the premium tier subscription, you also benefit from anti-tracking protection. While scanning for malware and ransomware, Avast will also check for out-of-date software, poor passwords, and malicious browser extensions.

Since the scan is pretty comprehensive, we’ve found it to be fairly burdening on your system. Compared with AVG, which runs quiet-as-a-mouse in the background, Avast’s scan can be quite intensive. This could affect the performance of other apps or processes you might be running. Even so, Avast performed better than other options, like Sophos, when it came to speed and performance. Avast did lose some points in our considerations due to the fact that, like AVG, they’ve been linked to privacy issues in the past.

Pricing

Avast offers three tiers of protection, with every package protecting you against viruses, malware, and ransomware. For additional features like fake website protection and defense against ad trackers, you’ll need one of the paid tiers:

ProductAvast One EssentialAvast OneAvast Premium Security
Antivirus
Anti-malware
Firewall
Anti-ransomware
Fake website protection
Webcam protection
Anti-ad tracker
Built-in VPN
PricingFree$99.99$89.99

*Prices for the first year only. Subscription prices tend to rise after the first year.

You can click the link below to read more about Avast’s features or try it for free, or read about our experience in our Avast antivirus review.

Try Avast Antivirus for Free

3. Avira Antivirus: The most affordable antivirus for Chromebook

Homepage screenshot of Avira with logo

PROSCONS
Use on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devicesFree version supported by ads
Support for 5 devices on premium tierFree version lacks a password manager
Email and web protection in paid tiers

While we can’t say that this is the cheapest Chromebook antivirus out there, it’s certainly one of the most cost-effective. With Avira Free Antivirus, you get many of the same features as the paid tiers, with the downsides being that there are ads and you won’t have access to customer service. Still, you can try the paid version for 30 days for free, and you’ll have full access to the software’s features for this duration.

Features

Avira is another antivirus that’s great for malware protection. With Avira Antivirus Pro, you get full access to things like malware protection, ransomware protection, ad blocking, and tracker blocking. There’s also a device scanner, plus a cloud-based virus protection system that can seek out threats both new and old.

If you upgrade to Avira Internet Security, you’ll be able to use Avira’s password manager. And then there’s the most premium tier, Avira Prime, which offers extras — including a more feature-rich version of their password manager, access to Avira’s Phantom VPN, and support for 5 devices. There’s also a junk file cleanup and PC performance optimizer.

Overall, Avira’s virus scanner is a good all-around malware protection tool. It rarely pings false positives, won’t overload your system while it runs, and typically scores well in reviews and comparisons. It’s also supported on a range of devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and of course, Chromebook.

To date, Avira hasn’t been involved in any major privacy leaks or reselling of data, which is likely due to their headquarters being located in Germany, where privacy laws are strong.

Pricing

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the features offered by each of Avira’s software packages, including the rough yearly price. Bear in mind that a firewall isn’t mentioned, as while Avira offers firewall management, it plugs into the Windows firewall for Windows devices:

ProductAvira Free AntivirusAvira Antivirus ProAvira Internet SecurityAvira Prime
Antivirus
Anti-malware
Anti-ransomware
Email protection
Web protection
Password manager
Built-in VPN
Pricing$0.00$44.99$34.99$59.99

*Prices for the first year only. Subscription prices tend to rise after the first year.

Avira is available for a free trial. Simply click the button below. Alternatively, you could read our full review of Avira Antivirus to learn more about the software.

Try Avira Antivirus for Free

4. Kaspersky Anti-Virus: The best in speed and performance for Chromebook

Screenshot of Kaspersky website home page with logo in the right bottom corner

PROSCONS
Malware protectionDoesn’t support scheduled scans
Built-in firewallCan’t scan individual app downloads
Payment protection

Kaspersky has been around for quite some time, so chances are you’ve already heard of their software. As you might expect from the name, Kaspersky Internet Security will help to keep you safe online with features like malware protection, regular virus scanning, a built-in firewall, and online payment protection for secure browsers. It’ll also help protect you against phishing attacks.

Features

With Kaspersky, there are three versions to choose from: Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Kaspersky Internet Security, and Kaspersky Total Security. All three are antivirus software solutions, but each has more functionality than the last.

While it’s a relatively simple antivirus app, Kaspersky Internet Security does a great job on Chromebook, a device that doesn’t always support the most popular VPN or antivirus software. This program doesn’t slow down your device during scans, and its features are well-rounded and proactive.

That said, it’s not a perfect piece of software. For example, while you can manually trigger a virus scan, you can’t scan an app that you’ve downloaded from the Play Store before installing it. You’ll also have to trigger them manually every single, as this version of Kaspersky doesn’t support scheduled scans.

However, these are relatively minor niggles compared to the protection that you get. In fact, when you upgrade to Kaspersky Total Security, you get additional functionality like parental controls and password management.

In the interest of full disclosure, we should mention that most U.S. organizations don’t use Kaspersky products as they’re developed by a Russian company. However, they also have many, many years of experience providing high-quality antivirus software. In our opinion, this isn’t reason enough to turn your back on what we consider to be the best antivirus for Chromebook.

Pricing

Depending on the Kaspersky package you choose, you’ll get different features. Below, we’ve highlighted the key features offered by each tier of service, in addition to the price for each package:

ProductKaspersky Antivirus FreeKaspersky Antivirus PremiumKaspersky Internet SecurityKaspersky Total Security
Antivirus
Anti-malware
Anti-phishing
Anti-ransomware
Payment protection
Firewall
Built-in VPN
Password manager
PricingFree$17.99$23.99$26.99

*Prices for the first year only. Subscription prices tend to rise after the first year.

For more information about Kaspersky Anti-Virus, you can visit its website through the link below or read our Kaspersky Anti-Virus review.

Try Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Free

5. Bitdefender Mobile Security: The best antivirus for Chromebook with a built-in VPN

Screenshot of Bitdefender website homepage with logo in the corner

PROSCONS
Parental controls for kids’ device managementLowest-cost package only for Windows devices
Notifies you when a scan is dueFree version discontinued for desktop
Checks applications for suspicious behavior

Bitdefender is an immensely popular antivirus tool whose entry-level version offers the protection from malware you’d expect, extending to adware, spyware, and ransomware. Upgrade to a slightly pricier package (either Bitdefender Total Security or Bitdefender Family), and you get more functionality. This includes a built-in firewall, more device support, parental controls, and a premium VPN service.

Features

For Chromebook specifically, Bitdefender Mobile Security is the best option. This package is free, with in-app purchases. Optimized for Android operating systems, this antivirus is packed with features that include an autopilot mode for scanning.

Bitdefender will notify you when it’s time to run a scan, which is something that’s lacking in most other antivirus solutions we’ve reviewed above. It’ll also alert you if an app starts behaving in a suspicious way.

There are other great and unique features too, which perfectly supplement your Chromebook’s built-in security. For example, Chromebooks run each website in a “sandbox,” a restricted environment that prevents infected webpages from impacting other apps and processes on your machine. This pairs perfectly with a Bitdefender Mobile Security feature that lets you protect each individual app on your device with a PIN. Best of all, as long as you’re on your home Wi-Fi network, your apps will unlock automatically.

Pricing

Bitdefender offers a great range of features on its lowest-cost tier of desktop antivirus software, Bitdefender Internet Security. However, this tier is only available on Windows machines, which is why the software lost some points in our assessment:

ProductBitdefender Internet SecurityBitdefender Total SecurityBitdefender Family
Antivirus
Anti-malware
Anti-malware
Anti-spam for email
Anti-tracker
Online banking protection
Built-in VPN
Webcam protection
Password manager
Windows protection
Android protection
MacOS protection
iOS protection
Pricing$31.99$35.99$119.99

*Prices for the first year only. Subscription prices tend to rise after the first year.

To find out more about Bitdefender, visit the official website or check out our full review of the Bitdefender Review.

Try Bitdefender Mobile Security for Free

Antivirus for Chromebook: What to Look For

Wondering what you should look for in an antivirus for Chromebook? If you’ve got the budget, you can get some pretty serious coverage for your device. Here are some of the more common features you might want to consider:

  • Features: You should always do your research on the best antivirus programs before committing to a provider. Some antivirus software are better than others in this area, offering greater protection and more regular security updates.
  • Individual scans: In addition to performing virus scans on your Chromebook, some antivirus allow you to scan specific files. This means you can check new apps for viruses before you install them.
  • Level of protection: If you want simple protection against malware on a single device, you’ll probably get away with a lower-price subscription. However, it’s unlikely you’ll get features like browser extensions and phishing protection.
  • Additional features: With the more expensive subscription tiers, you’ll typically get additional tools that might include a premium VPN service or a password manager, or both.

Which antivirus programs don’t work with Chromebook?

Laptop with a bug shielded icon and blob backgroundDespite many people arguing that you don’t need an antivirus on Chromebook — something we largely dispute — there are many great antivirus solutions available for ChromeOS.

However, some antivirus programs don’t support Chromebooks. This isn’t due to any problem with ChromeOS itself; the companies simply haven’t launched products specifically for ChromeOS.

  • Intego Antivirus. Despite being a high-ranking antivirus solution for both Windows and Mac, Intego doesn’t currently offer an antivirus app for Android or Chromebook.
  • Bitdefender Internet Security and Bitdefender Antivirus Plus. These two solutions from Bitdefender were designed for Windows systems, so you won’t be able to use them on Chromebook (or any other Android and iOS devices). One of these programs is free, and the other is the cheapest subscription available from Bitdefender. Bitdefender Mobile Security (which works on Chromebook) is a little more expensive.

Should I use a free or paid antivirus?

Deciding on whether to use a paid or free antivirus software comes down to a number of factors, some of which you may have no control over. Take your budget, for example; if you’re not ready to shell out for a one-off or subscription payment, then a free antivirus might be your best option.

You may have to put up with advertising depending on the free antivirus that you choose, but it’s a small price to pay for greater protection online. Be warned that it’s also likely that you’ll get a lesser degree of customer support (or possibly none at all).

Unfortunately, these are sacrifices that you have to make when you use a free antivirus. It’s much the same as other software, too. For instance, free VPNs for Chrome will also have drawbacks compared to paid options. However, as long as you choose a reputable free antivirus provider, having an antivirus — even if it’s free — is better than having none at all.

How to Install an Antivirus on Chromebook

Ready to take the plunge and install an antivirus on your Chromebook? You actually have a couple of options here depending on which features you’re going to be using. You can install an antivirus on your Chromebook, and you can install Chrome extensions, too.

Let’s start with the main antivirus software that you’re going to need.

Installing an antivirus on Chromebook via the Google Play Store

  1. Start by going to Launcher (or your home screen).
  2. Open Google Play Store.
  3. Search for the antivirus program you want to install. For example, type “Kaspersky antivirus” and click the Enter key on your Chromebook to search.
  4. Click on the green Install button beside the official Kaspersky app or whichever antivirus app you’ve chosen. While it’ll generally be the top result, double-check the name of the publisher, the number and quality of app reviews, and any other red flags such as grammatical errors in the app’s name and description. You want to make sure it’s the official application.
  5. You’ll find your Chromebook antivirus app on the Launcher (home) screen once the installation is finished.

Installing Chrome extensions via the Chrome Web Store

  1. Open the Chrome Web Store on your Chromebook.
  2. Search for the extension that you’d like to install. Try searching for Kaspersky, Avast, AVG, Avira, and Bitdefender. For example, Kaspersky offers something called “Kaspersky Protection for Chrome,” while Bitdefender offers an anti-tracker extension.
  3. Click the blue “Add to Chrome” button beside your chosen extension and confirm the installation.
  4. Click the “Add extension” button that should’ve popped up within your Chrome browser, and you’re done!

Protect Your Chromebook Today

You need to get an antivirus for Chomebook if you want a fighting chance against the sheer number of online threats that are out there. While your Chromebook is susceptible to fewer viruses than Windows computers, you’re not immune.

Thankfully, you have a wealth of options to choose from. For the best antivirus on Chromebook, look no further than our five recommendations:

AntivirusBest forWebsite
AVGBest all-roundVisit AVG
AvastRansomware protectionVisit Avast
AviraCostVisit Avira
KasperskyBest in speed and performanceVisit Kaspersky
BitdefenderBuilt-in VPN protectionVisit Bitdefender

Finally, for the best online safety and security, consider pairing your antivirus with one of the best VPNs for Chromebook.

The Best Antivirus for Chromebook: Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for information on getting an antivirus for Chromebook? Check out our frequently asked questions below. Just click on a question to see the answer.

Plenty of online sources say that you don’t need an antivirus on Chromebook. However, while your Chromebook is less vulnerable to certain viruses than a Windows PC, it can still be infected with malware. In short, you still need an antivirus to protect your Chromebook. You don’t necessarily need to pay for a subscription, but you should have at least some level of protection. For more information, read our full article on getting an antivirus for your Chromebook.

If you want to check your Chromebook for viruses, then you’ll need to download and install an antivirus and scan your device. Here’s how:

  1. On Launcher, open the Play Store application.
  2. Search for one of the best antivirus software and download the app.
  3. Install the application, then run it.
  4. Purchase or subscribe to an antivirus app, then log into your account.
  5. Use the antivirus software to perform a virus scan on your Chromebook.

That depends on what you mean by “hacked.” Chromebooks can’t run executable (.exe) files, which means they’re more protected against certain viruses than Windows computers. However, malware can still be lurking inside the apps that you download for Chromebook. This can be from third-party websites, but sometimes, apps on the Google Play Store can be infected with malware or ransomware. Downloading an infected file could lead to your personal data being compromised.

Cybersecurity journalist
Chris is a tech journalist with many years' experience covering the latest news in online privacy and cybersecurity. He's also a published author and works as a Product Manager for some of the most innovative software development companies.